rob waller

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Sorry about the quality of this image taken quickly on the move. It's a rare example of figure-ground problem in action. Perhaps you got it straight away but it took a little while for me to see the image here. I can't think why in retrospect - but, of course, once you've recognised something it's almost impossible to erase your understanding. That's why we need to test icons - the designer knows what they mean, and can never see them fresh.


  1. The problem seems to lie with the choice of the circle as the bounding shape – it’s produced the ‘man in the moon’ effect. Would a rectangle have produced the same ambiguity? On road signs a circle = ‘mandatory’; perhaps that was in the designer’s mind too.

  2. Anonymous11:01 am

    I recognised straight away what the figure was but a not sure that I would have understood it without the wording (or perhaps the context).


  3. Anonymous12:59 am

    I think it's interesting to have 2.5 images in 1; the person saying "shhhhh", the moon for sleeping, and the almost reference to a lumpy old-school mobile.



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